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SOE Class of 2021 Graduate Helps Make History at the Tokyo Summer Olympics

Drexel University School of Education

Reilly Dampeer Drexel University School of Education

June 10, 2021

Reilly Dampeer is relentless. Like other students in the School of Education, she faced the challenge of completing her degree during a deadly global pandemic. But unlike her fellow Class of 2021 graduates, she was also helping to make Olympic history. For the last seven years Dampeer has coached Privel Hinkati, a rower who competes in the men’s Single Sculls. Hinkati, a native of the west African nation of Benin, came to America for a job at the French embassy and to pursue his dream of competing in the Olympics. When he wasn’t working, he was training with Dampeer at a local boat club with other high-performance athletes. “Privel came into the group a skillful rower and the training environment pushed him to be a stronger competitor,” said Dampeer. After a year in the U.S., Hinkati returned to France to train on his own for the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro. Privel came up short in his bid to qualify for the Rio games, but he did not give up. He learned from the experience and was motivated to improve his training habits. Through a more intense training program created by Dampeer and regular remote meetings, he finally achieved his dream. “In 2019, Privel finally qualified for the Olympic games, and it was one of the most rewarding moments of my coaching career.” Not only that, but he is also the first rower from his country to ever qualify for the Olympics!

Dampeer sharpened her coaching skills through Drexel’s MS in Sport Coaching Leadership program. The online courses make it convenient for working coaches like Dampeer to take courses while training athletes for competition. The courses are taught by faculty who are world-class coaches, including US Rowing’s, Dr. Cameron Kiosoglous. Students learn coaching theory and techniques, as well as, how to develop a coaching program, goal setting, and recruiting and budgeting. For coaches like Dampeer, the lessons learned in the program are applicable to their career. In Dampeer’s case, it has led her to help athletes perform at their very best and make their dreams come true.